RBS International Manx Rally

Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship

Round 3 - RBS International Manx Rally 9/10 May

Roger Duckworth claimed the honours in the 2008 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship as he finished second overall on the RBS International Manx Rally, finishing 50.9 seconds behind Welshman Melvyn Evans.

Duckworth and Broomfield were making a return to competition following their accident on the Cork 20 International Rally in October and despite losing a considerable amount of time on stage seven with a clutch slipping, posted a solid performance to take maximum points in the ANCRO-organised 2008 Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship in their Subaru Impreza WRC.

Championship leaders Jon Ingram and co-driver Ian Allsop, who won round two, finished third in their different, hired, right-hand drive Subaru Impreza WRC. The crew battled through several problems and were doubtful if they would continue at the restart on Saturday after they had an issue with the gearbox. They also had a problem with the diff on the first stage on Saturday but battled back to make the podium and increase their lead to 13 points.

Irish crew Keith Cronin and Greg Shinnors finished fifth overall and first in Group N, taking third place in the Gravel Championship and winning the Mitsubishi Evo Challenge. It was Cronin's first time in the Isle of Man and he showed some good pace despite a puncture on the final stage in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.

Neil McCance and Graham Hopewell were sixth in their Mitsubishi Evo and second in Group N followed by Stephen Moore and Tony McHugh in the Ford Focus WRC. Daniel Barry and Mark Bowens overcame the odds to finish eighth overall and sixth in the Gravel series in their Mitsubishi Evo. At one point the pair thought they would not make the finish after they picked up substantial damage to the rear end of their car on stage seven.

Reigning champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery had been third overall in their Hyundai Accent WRC but an off on the final stage cost them a considerable amount of time and they came home tenth.

Bad luck of the rally went to Richard Cathcart and Martin Brady in their Group N Mitsubishi Evo machine. The pair had shown blistering form on their first visit to the Manx stages and were fourth and leading Group N ahead of the penultimate test before a puncture and a lost wheel cost them enough time to put them OTL.

The Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship will return in a brief three weeks for round four, the Builth Wells-based Severn Valley Rally on Saturday 30 May.

Provisional Classification

1 Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally                     Subaru Impreza WRC              1h:41m:40.0s

2 Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield Subaru Impreza WRC          1:42:30.9

3 Jon Ingram/Ian Allsop                         Subaru Impreza WRC          1:44:06.3

4 David Kynaston/Andy Russell                 Audi A3 Quattro                      1:44:12.9

5 Keith Cronin/Greg Shinnors               Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9      1:45:11.6

6 Neil McCance/Graham Hopewell       Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9     1:45:58.9

7 Stephen Moore/Tony McHugh           Ford Focus WRC                  1:46:24.1

8 Daniel Barry/Mark Bowens                 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9     1:47:36.7

9 John Price/Caroline Price                         MG Metro 6R4                         1:47:39.3

10 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery        Hyundai Accent WRC           1:47:46.0